IFZO is...

... the Interdisciplinary Centre for Baltic Sea Region Research, a central institution at the University of Greifswald. The IFZO clusters all research activities on the Baltic Sea Region and offers support, research and transfer structures for innovative research and collaborative projects of all departments. The IFZO represents the university research focus "Cultures of the Baltic Sea Region".

The core of the centre is the interdisciplinary cooperation of researchers from different departments of the humanities, social and natural sciences as well as theology and medicine. In addition to the IFZO joint research project "Fragmented Transformations. Perceptions, Constructions, Constitutions of a Region in Transition", this includes the International DFG Research Training Group "Baltic Peripeties. Narratives of Reformations, Revolutions, Catastrophes", the Manor House Centre for the Baltic Sea Region, the Virtual University Baltic Sea Region, the Master's programme "History and Culture of the Baltic Sea" and the international summer school programme "Young People Network for Balticness".

In the joint research activities of the alliances, Greifswald researchers combine their expertise in cultural, linguistic, historical, political, economic, legal and theological research of the Baltic Sea Region. Special attention is given to research into transformation processes, the narrative construction of the Baltic Sea Region, the preservation of the cultural heritage of manor houses and the education about regional structures and identities in interdisciplinary and international teaching projects.

By means of innovative funding structures, the centre ensures the training of young researchers in the field of Baltic Sea Region research through a scholarship and study programme. Interdisciplinary “meeting rooms” and a research data platform promote the internal and international networking of researchers. Through the targeted promotion and monitoring of interdisciplinary and internationally oriented research projects, the Centre supports research into globally relevant issues in the Baltic Sea Region, including common cultural heritage, relevant social discourses and structures of public services and security, energy and sustainability issues and economic development.

In addition to networking, promotion and research, one of the central concerns of the centre is the transfer of research results and the further development of regional studies. Summer schools, virtual courses and a master’s programme form the basis for the training of students in methods and contents concerning Baltic Sea Region Studies. Collaborative projects with museums, associations and institutions of political education help us to bring results and discourses to the wider society. Public discussions with politicians, non-governmental organisations and business actors promote a mutual understanding of different points of view on relevant issues of social change in the Baltic Sea Region.